There are several injuries that can occur during the birth process, which includes shoulder dystocia or shoulder paralysis. The damage that results from these injuries can be either permanent or temporary. Fortunately, families impacted by these unfortunate injuries have the legal option to seek compensation for their injuries.

What is Shoulder Dystocia?

The term ‘shoulder dystocia’ refers to a complication that occurs when a child’s shoulder becomes stuck inside the birth canal. The term ‘dystocia’ refers to difficult birth or labor. This condition often only occurs after labor has begun and has the potential to create difficulties for both the pregnant mother and child.

Risk Factors for Shoulder Dystocia

Many factors can increase a person’s chances of being diagnosed with shoulder dystocia. Some of these risk factors include:

  • Babies that are very large. Shoulder dystocia can occur, however, even when a child is of normal weight.
  • Births that occur after the child’s due date
  • Mothers that have diabetes or are obese.
  • Mothers that are pregnant with twins or who have multiple children.
  • Mothers who have a history of delivering larger than average children.
  • Mothers who previously needed labor to be induced.
  • Mothers who receive epidurals to decrease pain during labor.
  • Obstetricians who tools to extract children from the birth canal.

 Injuries Commonly Caused by Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a complication of the labor and delivery process, but by itself, is not an injury. The condition, however, can result in numerous serious birth injuries, which include the following:

  • Bone fractures. One of the most common types of injuries that occurs when children’s shoulders are stuck in the birth canal are bone fractures and contusions. Bones often break when excessive force is applied to free the child’s shoulder from the mother’s pelvic bone. In many cases, this pressure also results in bruises and contusions.
  • Brachial plexus injuries, which refer to injuries that occur when a child’s shoulder becomes stuck in the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves, which when damaged can impact a person’s mobility.
  • Asphyxiation. One of the most dangerous complications that can result due to shoulder dystocia is lack of oxygen. This complication can lead to a child asphyxiating and experiencing permanent brain damage. One of the most common cause is when the umbilical cord ends up wrapped around a child’s neck.

Preventing Shoulder Dystocia

It is possible in most cases to prevent shoulder dystocia. The best way to combat this complication is knowledge and understanding among medical professionals. If a medical professional applies incorrect techniques or applies an inadequate amount of force during the delivery process, it is often possible to pursue compensation for the resulting injuries.

Speak with an Experienced Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your child is facing shoulder dystocia as a result of negligence by a medical professional, you should not be left to face these complications on your own. As an experienced birth injury attorney I will help create the strongest possible case for you. Call me right now at 877.944.4373 and I’ll speak to you today at no cost!  I will find out what happened, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®.

Birth Injuries